Dubai is a city that’s always looking forward into the future, with cutting-edge architecture, manmade islands and luxury-laden resorts. From sprawling shopping malls to the world’s tallest tower, you can rest assured that Dubai is ahead of the curve when it comes to glamour! Yet at the same time you can embrace its traditional side in hidden markets, historic forts and forays into the desert. The city is a dream for shoppers, with two annual shopping festivals to tempt you in for souvenirs. And after dark, Dubai’s sleek hotels and lounges offer an enticing nightlife to explore.
One of Dubai’s most famous sights is pretty hard to miss – the Burj Khalifa is the world’s highest building, with an observation deck from the 148th floor offering a ridiculously expansive view! The city is basically synonymous with high-end shopping, so don’t miss a visit to air-conditioned, glamorous emporiums like the Dubai Mall with its designer shops, underwater zoo, manmade lagoon and aquarium. The Burj Al Arab is the world’s only seven-star hotel, with ballet fountains, copious gold leaf and an underwater restaurant! For a different side of the city, explore Dubai’s origins in its historic district, with the 18th century Al-Fahidi Fort, wooden boats and Dubai Museum.
Dubai’s port handles both passenger cruise ships and cargo shipping, so it’s quite a busy place with few luxury amenities. However, you’ll find a neat row of official taxis on hand to whisk you away into popular tourist areas like Jumeirah or Historic Dubai. You could also opt for the hop-on, hop-off bus option if you want to explore multiple districts, and once you’re in the city centre you can have a ride on Dubai’s super clean and efficient metro. There are women-only cars on the metro, with fares calculated by the zones you’re crossing.
You’ll find a wealth of facilities on hand at the cruise terminal to help you get your bearing, including complimentary shuttle bus services to a number of shopping malls and the Dubai Airport. Motorists will also find ample onsite parking right next to the terminal. Dubai is a car-friendly city, with broad boulevards and efficient highways, so many passengers choose to drive and leave their cars in long-term parking lots here. Fees will depend on the date, time and duration of your car’s stay – it’s worth comparing Dubai Airport parking prices as well since a shuttle bus links the two.
This fascinating city offers its own, upscale take on the traditional souk experience. Visit the sophisticated Jumeirah district and you’ll find the Souk Madinat, with a selection of soft pashmina scarves, designer sand, and elegant home décor to take home with you.
Malls offer more than just shopping in Dubai, and strive to outdo one another with over-the-top entertainment and recreation facilities as well. For example, Dubai Mall hosts an ice-skating rink, while Mall of the Emirates houses its own ski and snowboarding centre down artificial slopes. You can even go zorbing!
The city’s manmade islands are playgrounds for those who love water sports. Visit palm-shaped Palm Jumeirah to try out stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and scuba diving. The World is a brand-new addition to the islands here, with 300 small islands shaped like the continents!
Away from its beaches and water parks, you can enjoy a unique adventure out in the desert. Desert safaris are a very popular excursion for cruise passengers, giving you the chance to set out in a 4x4 vehicle to tackle massive sand dunes and enjoy the view. For even more adventure, tack on a came ride or snowboard your way down a dune before settling in for a Middle Eastern meal.